The 4 Top DON’TS If You Want An Amicable Divorce

You’ve decided you want a divorce.  Perhaps you’ve felt trapped for a long time.  You might ache to be free from the never-ending loneliness and sense of hopelessness – even helplessness – that seems to pervade your every waking moment.

You might start to feel a sense of excitement of really living for the first time in a long time, even being happy…and free.

But how do you go about getting a divorce that’s actually amicable, if there is such a thing?  Regardless, you know you don’t want things to get ugly. 

So what do you do?  Let’s start with what NOT to do.  Here are the 4 most common don’ts if you want things to go as smoothly as possible.

1.   Don’t beat yourself up.

If you are the one who wants the divorce, you might feel guilty believing you’re hurting your spouse and your children.  You might fear their reactions as you witness this pain.  You might even feel like a failure.  Perhaps there is also an admonishing voice in your head that asks “how could you be so selfish!”

Stop!  Engaging in such thoughts is not only unproductive, it’s a self-defeating waste of precious time and energy.

Instead, realize that your spouse deserves someone who loves and appreciates him or her. 

 2.   Don’t expect your spouse to be on the same page as you.

 Just because you’re ready to move on, chances are, your spouse is not.  If you can acknowledge and accept this, and give your spouse the space within which to process the emotions of the grief process, the better your chances of an amicable divorce.

 3.   Don’t make assumptions about the law.

 It’s common to assume that if you divorce, your spouse will “get half” of your pension or that you’ll be forced to pay a certain amount of alimony for an indeterminate length of time.  In reality, however, there are no such automatic results.  Also, since the vast majority of divorces are resolved by agreement rather than court, the result would most likely be what you and your spouse ultimately agree on.

4.   Don’t hire the wrong attorney.

The lawyer you hire and the lawyer  who your spouse uses will most likely determine how smoothly your divorce goes.  Be especially leary of lawyers who use words like “aggressive” or guarantee certain results.  It’s important that the lawyer you choose is able to facilitate settlement and presents you with all options and recommendations, and seeks to minimize fees.

By avoiding these top 4 don’ts, you can clear the path for an amicable divorce or, at the very least, you can dramatically minimize contention as you transition to your post-divorce future.


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